Lexapro and Caffeine

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Learn About The Effects Of Caffeine and Antidepressants

If you live with depression, and you are taking medication to treat it, you will find it helpful to learn about the effects of caffeine and antidepressants.

While some people may consume caffeine while taking antidepressants and experience no side effects, others might find that combining caffeine and antidepressants causes side effects or makes depression worse.

Ultimately, if you have concerns about using caffeine and antidepressants together, you should discuss them with your doctor, but having a general understanding of the effects of consuming lexapro and caffeine.

Lexapro and Caffeine : Why Some People Use Both

Using caffeine and antidepressants together is probably not uncommon. According to a study in the journal Clinical Pharmacokinetics, the typical American consumes around 200 to 250 milligrams of caffeine per day. Caffeine use may be especially popular among people who live with depression, because caffeine is known to stimulate the central nervous system and boost the mood.

Since caffeine also increases alertness and reduces fatigue, it can alleviate some common symptoms of depression, such as loss of interest in activities, inability to concentrate, and feelings of fatigue. People who struggle with depression may use caffeine to self-medicate some of their symptoms and cope with feelings of depression. This means that caffeine and antidepressants use may go hand-in-hand, since people who take antidepressants to treat their symptoms may also be treating themselves with caffeine, whether they realize it or not.

Potential Negative Interaction Of Caffeine And Antidepressants

In reality, many people probably use caffeine and antidepressants together and never suffer from any noticeable side effects. On the other hand, some people may experience negative effects when they combine the two. For example, scientists have reported that antidepressants can slow the rate at which caffeine is cleared from the body, This can be especially problematic for people who have depression, given the fact that research shows that individuals with mental health conditions are more likely to consume large amounts of caffeine, defined as more than 750 milligrams of caffeine per day.

This excessive caffeine intake, combined with the use of antidepressants, can cause unpleasant side effects. For instance, as the Food and Drug Administration warns, 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is the recommended limit, and consuming more than this can cause negative effects like sleep problems, elevated heart rate, anxiety, jitters, unhappiness, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and upset stomach. Since certain antidepressant medications can slow the rate at which caffeine leaves the body, people who mix caffeine and antidepressants may be more likely to experience these side effects. This is concerning, given the fact that people with mental health conditions like depression are more likely to consume excessive amounts of caffeine.

lexapro and caffeine

Caffeine And Antidepressants: Effects On Mental Health

Caffeine and antidepressants can cause negative effects when combined, which can lead some people to stop taking their antidepressant medications. Ultimately, this can worsen their mental health, because they do not have the medication needed to cope with symptoms of depression. For this reason, experts recommend that instead of stopping the use of their medications, patients who are taking antidepressants should reduce their caffeine intake to avoid unpleasant side effects.

Even if a person does not experience negative side effects when using caffeine and antidepressants, it is important to note that caffeine itself may worsen depression for some people. While caffeine can increase alertness and boost mood temporarily, consuming too much of it can actually cause anxiety, insomnia, and sadness, which only worsens symptoms of depression.

While not everyone will experience negative side effects or worsened depression when taking caffeine and antidepressants, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about your caffeine use if you suffer from depression or are taking antidepressant medications.

Is Caffeine Addictive?

If you are using caffeine and antidepressants such as lexapro and caffeine, you may also be interested in learning if caffeine is addictive. According to research, it is possible for people to develop a tolerance when they use caffeine on a daily basis, which means they will need larger doses of caffeine to achieve the same desired effects.

In addition, people can become physically dependent upon caffeine, which leads to withdrawal symptoms when a person stops consuming caffeine. Common side effects of caffeine withdrawal include insomnia, headache, fatigue, restlessness, anxiety, drowsiness, and feelings of discontentment. Since caffeine use can lead to tolerance and withdrawal, caffeine abuse does demonstrate some of the qualities associated with drug addiction, albeit to a lesser extent.

Lexapro and Caffeine use does not lead to the devastating consequences seen with addiction to drugs like heroin or cocaine, but for some people, caffeine can become problematic. If you are experiencing side effects from caffeine and antidepressants, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider about steps you can take to address these side effects.

Depression And Addiction

While using caffeine and antidepressants together may create problems for some people, an even greater concern among people with depression is drug abuse. According to a research report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people with mood disorders like depression are around twice as likely to also suffer from drug addictions when compared to people in the general population.

In some cases, people who live with depression may begin using drugs to improve their mood and self-medicate symptoms of depression, but over time, mental health worsens as an addiction develops. If you have both depression and a drug addiction, it is important that you seek treatment at a dual diagnosis rehab provider, which is qualified to treat both mental illness and addiction. If you only receive treatment for depression, you may continue to use drugs, which will only cause depression to worsen.

On the other hand, if you only receive treatment for your addiction, you may return to using drugs when symptoms of depression strike. A dual diagnosis rehab can provide you with skills for coping with triggers for addiction and managing symptoms of depression without turning to drugs.

California Dual Diagnosis Rehab

For those seeking dual diagnosis rehab for depression and addiction, Resurgence California is located in Orange County, and we are the leading dual diagnosis treatment provider.

We offer drug detox as well as inpatient and outpatient rehab, and we conduct a thorough psychological assessment of each patient who walks through our doors.

We will provide you with an individualized treatment plan, customized to meet your unique needs.

During your time with us, you will participate in individual and group counseling as well as educational programming.

If you stay at Resurgence for inpatient treatment, you will complete rehab in a homelike setting, with close access to California beaches, piers, waterfalls, and outdoor shopping centers.

If you are worried about covering the costs of dual diagnosis rehab, Resurgence California will simplify the process for you with our free insurance verification program.

Give us a call or fill out a brief form on our website, and our team will review your insurance information and tell you what benefits your plan covers and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for treatment at Resurgence.

If you are without insurance, we are happy to create a payment plan for you.

Contact us today to learn why we are a premier dual diagnosis rehab.


1) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10976659/
2) https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much
3) https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/rrcomorbidity.pdf

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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.